Why do consumers dislike us?

A new white paper by LarsEn Energy Branding is out now. The whitepaper is titled “Why do consumers dislike us? – The effects of liberalization of energy markets on consumer’s perception towards the utilities

The abstract states that:

[…] the focus of this paper is on consumers’ attitudes towards liberalization in an attempt to evaluate its effects on the company’s marketing function. The paper draws on findings from a qualitative study that used 11 focus groups from five European countries[…]. The paper argues that the recent liberalization does have a strong effect on a sizable portion of consumers and should not be overlooked while devising a successful and segmented marketing strategy. The effects should be acknowledged and addressed before taking on traditional marketing functions such as general image building.

Furthermore, the whitepaper concludes that:

The marketing communication should be based on addressing the negatives, instead of merely focusing on the general image of brands. A marketing approach based on providing consumers with information is more likely to be efficient. An authentic and humble approach where a particular utility communicates in an honest way to consumers and shows them that the utility is working for their customers as opposed to only making money and protecting special interests. The utilities also need to show their social responsibility in action and sway their customers into seeing that the utility is able handle the responsibility of operating a company in a recently liberalized market. Furthermore, that the company will not take advantage of the fact that in most countries there are relatively few available energy companies to choose from. By taking steps of this nature the results should materialize in an increased goodwill of household energy consumers. Moving on, the utility managers can stop asking themselves “Why don’t consumers like us?”

The full whitepaper can be downloaded at the LarsEn Energy Branding website.